Agatha Christie is a legend. She is one of the most published and best selling authors of all time and is widely regarded as the queen of mystery. I began my lover affair with her when I was about 8 years old. Being the youngest of three, I was left to my own devices for the most part since my older siblings preferred to hang out with each other, and not the 'baby' of the family.
There wasn't much to do in my middle class Nairobi neighborhood but what I did have was access to books. My parents were avid readers and had amassed a small library of books. From the Encyclopedia, Arthur Hailey, Tom Clancy, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steele to Agatha Christie and more, I had a wide range of reading material to pick from.
I inhaled it all like a fiend on drugs. I would devour 300 page books in a matter of hours and could read 3-4 books a day especially when I was on break from school. From thrillers to comics, I read all the books I could get my hands on but my favorite were always the mysteries. I imagine it was the challenge of figuring out 'whodunit' and no one could do it better than Christie.
Fast forward decades later to when I was preparing for my trip to Istanbul. As I was reading the travel guide on the plane, I was surprised to learn that Agatha Christie had frequented Istanbul in the late twenties and thirties always staying at the Pera Palace Hotel. Legend has it that Christie penned 'Murder in the Orient Express' in room 411 of the hotel.
While the room is available for booking by Christie fans, I unfortunately did not manage to secure it since it was sold out months in advance. So I settled for dinner at 'Agatha Restaurant' located in the hotel, reminiscing about the exploits of my favorite Christie character 'Poirot' and what was running through her mind when she wrote the book within these hallowed walls.